Homemade Horchata

One of my favorite things to do in the spring and summer is go to the farmers market, walk around and take it all in, and drink freshly made horchata.

Homemade Horchata (vegan, GF) - This creamy, smooth, nourishing & healthy beverage is as easy to make as turning on your blender!

At the farmers market, I load up on a ridiculous amount of seasonal fruits and vegetables.

My eyes are always bigger than my stomach and my refrigerator storage drawer.

The treat of the day is usually homemade horchata.

Homemade Horchata (vegan, GF) - This creamy, smooth, nourishing & healthy beverage is as easy to make as turning on your blender!

The local vendors offer more free samples than Costco.

They make everything from hibiscus punch to watermelon juice to mango salad…

…along with their fabulous homemade fresh horchata.

Homemade Horchata (vegan, GF) - This creamy, smooth, nourishing & healthy beverage is as easy to make as turning on your blender!

When I was in Mexico City last summer, I also had some amazing horchata from the markets and street food vendors.

This was a life-changing day. So incredibly powerful; a day I will never forget as long as I live. Some of the things I saw, oh boy.

There was so much to see and so much food to eat.

I started researching recipes and came across a Rick Bayless recipe for horchata.

Homemade Horchata (vegan, GF) - This creamy, smooth, nourishing & healthy beverage is as easy to make as turning on your blender!

It seems that most people make horchata with almonds but I generally prefer cashews to almonds because cashews are creamier, they’re more neutral-tasting, and they blend much better and more easily.

The blending part is key because I didn’t want to be bothered with straining this or bothering with a cheesecloth, which is why I used cashews.

The vanilla flavor was very pronounced and there was a hint of cinnamon present.

The horchata was sweet, creamy, milky, and I had to restrain from drinking about 19 ounces of horchata at once.

It’s that good and this is going to become a staple.

Homemade Horchata (vegan, GF) - This creamy, smooth, nourishing & healthy beverage is as easy to make as turning on your blender!


A Visual Guide

Put the cashews (or almonds) into the Vita-Mix or blender canister with rice, water, and a cinnamon stick and refrigerate overnight.

The next morning, remove the cinnamon stick, add sweetener and vanilla…

Blend, blend, blend…


Homemade Horchata (vegan, GF) - This creamy, smooth, nourishing & healthy beverage is as easy to make as turning on your blender!

And try not to drink the whole batch at once.

Homemade Horchata (vegan, GF) - This creamy, smooth, nourishing & healthy beverage is as easy to make as turning on your blender!

Refrigerate excess (if you mange to have any and haven’t drank it all directly from the Vita-Mix canister).

I was classier than that.

I used a straw and a mason jar.

Homemade Horchata (vegan, GF) - This creamy, smooth, nourishing & healthy beverage is as easy to make as turning on your blender!

Homemade Horchata (vegan, GF) - This creamy, smooth, nourishing & healthy beverage is as easy to make as turning on your blender!

Print Recipe

Homemade Horchata (vegan, gluten-free, soy-free)

This creamy, smooth, nourishing & healthy beverage is as easy to make as turning on your blender!

Yield: about 7 cups

Prep Time: 8 to 12 hours, soak time

Cook Time: 0 minutes

Total Time: 8 to 12 hours


1 cup raw cashews (or use raw or blanched almonds)

2/3 cup white rice, uncooked (medium or long-grain preferred)

2 1/2 cups water + 3 cups water

one 3-inch cinnamon stick

2/3 cup granulated sugar, or to taste*

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (increase to 1 teaspoon, or to taste, if you love vanilla)


  1. In a large blender canister, Vita-Mix canister, or large bowl combine cashews, uncooked rice, 2 1/2 cups warm tap water, cinnamon stick, cover and place in the refrigerator for 8 to 12 hours.
  2. Remove canister from the refrigerator, remove the cinnamon stick, and blend the mixture for 2 to 3 minutes on high speed, or until blended as smoothly as possible.
  3. Add sugar (to taste), vanilla extract, 3 cups more water and blend again for 2 more minutes, or until mixture is as smooth as possible.
  4. If desired, strain horchata through a sieve or cheesecloth (I did not find it necessary as the cashews blended incredibly smoothly in my Vita-Mix). Serve immediately as is, over ice, or refrigerate and serve chilled, shaking before if mixture has separated. Horchata will keep in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days; use common sense.
  5. Notes: I used traditional recipes here and here and here as reference for the sugar (and they use more than I did). You may wish to start with 1/3 cup sugar, and increase from there if you prefer something less sweet. You can use another form of sweetener, to taste. All amounts are to taste. If you are serving over ice, it will also water down and become less sweet, something to keep in mind. This is a sweet beverage; it's not supposed to be "barely sweet"; it's supposed to be sweet. If you prefer a thinner horchata increase the amount of water, to taste, or strain it. Whatever blender you use, blend, blend, blend. Depending on type of blender used, and taste preferences, strain if desired.
  6. Ideas: Use over cereal, in oatmeal, in smoothies, make ice cubes with it for iced coffee, bake with it in place of recipes calling for nut or rice milk, use it as coffee creamer, add chocolate sauce for chocolate "milk", freeze it for 2 hours or until barely frozen for a slushy-ice cream treat; add 1 ounce of Baileys, Kahlua, or Vanilla Vodka, etc. to 4 to 6 ounces of Horchta and ice cubes, shake/stir and serve.

Another beverage that’s incredibly easy to make is kefir. Three ingredients, let it sit on your countertop for a day while the good bacteria do their work, and serve.

Coconut Milk Kefir (gluten free, vegan)

You could also make smoothies such as a Pineapple Banana and Coconut Cream Smoothie with horchata rather than using coconut milk or another type of milk.


  1. I’m in love with these bright white pictures! Horchata is something I’ve always wanted to make (and try, I’ve never even had it!) b/c I know I’ll love it.

  2. I’ve never tried horchata but love cashews, vanilla, and cinnamon – definitely on my list of recipes to try!

  3. When my roommate traveled to Puerto Rico last year she came back with all sorts of recipes to share, horchata being one of them, and I had never heard of it up until then. Yours looks fantastic, and I really want to try making it. Also- I had no idea nut milks were that simple to make (always thought you had to strain etc.) but I am so trying my own almond milk asap. Thanks for the suggestion!

    • You know, there are people who will but it’s based on your tastes, your blender, and if you are okay with some thickness. If you want “paper thin” milk, i.e. like grocery store skim milk, this is not that.

      If you want something thicker like full fat coconut milk or half and half, this is more like that. Keep me posted!

  4. Beautiful photo’s, only you could make a mason jar and white liquid look stunning.


  5. I LOVE horchata! I actually thought it was just rice though, I had no idea there were other nuts in there. I’ve clearly not done my horchata research. I’ve mostly just had it at mexican restaurants and used the instnat packets from the grocery store. I’m lazy like that. But, I do have some cashews and I’m thinking maybe this would be good without the rice. (Not a rice fan.) and with my brown sugar cinnamon coffee syrup.

    Oh, baby.

    • I’m not a big rice lover either; you can’t taste it but I really think it does help and is important. Use less than I did or else you basically just have nut milk on your hands which is fine too but I wouldn’t steer you wrong…try it just once with the rice :)

  6. It is something I have always wanted to try, but I’ve never done so. You make it sound so simple, maybe I should just do it :)

  7. I love going to the farmers market too. One of my favorite destinations. I have never tried horchata but it looks so light and refreshing! I would love to try this one day!!

    : ))

  8. I’ve never had horchata…but it sounds delicious!! Mail me some?! ;-)

  9. I AODRE horchata! (Which is why I put a raw version in my cookbook, of course) This looks amazing…but dangerous. I’m likely to drink it all at once…

    • As I have been reading your cookbook (like most people read novels, page by page, really studying each and every page and recipe), I have seen recipes for tons of things I already make, made, or have in my to-be-published drafts. This one has been waiting for almost a month…so I was chuckling when I saw your recipe the other day in the book :)

  10. Hey Averie! This sounds delightful, I have never had this before! And you have a beautiful space, love your photographs! So glad to be your new follower!

  11. If I had the time I would Pin every single one of your photos. There is such a clarity in your photography I come back everyday for more.

    I’ve never tried horchata, but you made it look so easy, I just may…and the glass stray = envy.

    • Thanks so much, Deirdre. That is my goal, to make the pics look online as good as the food looked in person; some days with better success than others…haha! Thanks for your support, as always!

  12. My husband loves horchata. I will have try this. Good call using the cashews! I hate messing with cheesecloth, too.

  13. I had actually never even heard of horchata before. I have heard of kefir, but I’ve never tried it. I have had cultured coconut milk, which I just recently tried. The only nut milk I’ve tried is almond, but my stomach doesn’t tolerate it well. Cashews are a great replacement for almonds in recipes!

  14. I’ve never heard of horchata. Sounds very interesting. Love cashews, so how could it be bad?? And honestly, even if I don’t like something, you make it look so darn good!

  15. What an awesome recipe, I’ve never tried horchata! This looks like a lot of fun!

    You Mexico city trip looked like such fun, I’d live to sneak away on a trip like that!

  16. These pictures are BEAUTIFUL! Love the white on white with the cinnamon sticks-they are all so pretty. Never tried Horchata but after seeing those pictures and reading the ingredients, I think I just might have to.

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  18. Oh, wow! I’ve never had Horchata but I’ve been obsessively pounding the homemade cashew milk lately, so I think I will definitely love this. I’ll definitely be trying this and I definitely think I’ll have no self-control with it!

  19. I have never tried horchata before. It sounds delicious with cashews. Your pictures look beautiful!

  20. I want to try my hand at making cinnamon pistachio nut butter. I’ve been deterred by the shelling of the pistachios. That hurts my fingers after a while! Plus I like unsalted nuts and the shelled unsalted are hard to find. I suppose it would be a good rainy day activity!

  21. Could your photos be any prettier??? Love this! I’ve never had it but I can’t wait to try this recipe!

  22. I have only had the Horchata they make in spain which is made from tiger nut milk and I LOVE IT!!!!!! Especially on a hot summers day : )

  23. Your pics look as good as your recipe sounds! I’ve never had horchata but rice-cashew milk with sugar and spice sounds yummy. Also nice not to have to strain it. I love to make my own nut butters and I’m a mixer. Almond-cashew or almond-macadamia are my favorites (often with a handful of pecans or pistachios in there too).

  24. Really nice – everything- so enjoyed!

  25. I’ve never even had horchata but this looks delicious and easy. I will have to try it. thanks for posting!

  26. wow! i need to hit up that farmers market. Or just come to your house and have you serve it up with ANY of your delicious treats. Great recipe Averie. A keeper for sure!

  27. i do miss those cali farmers markets.
    i mean they are huge
    you should see our farmers markets here, small and sad

  28. What a fabulous sounding drink! Awesome idea!

  29. My boyfriend loves horchata!!! I never even thought to make it.

    Can’t wait for the farmer’s markets! It was over 70 degrees in Chicago today. Hooray!

  30. I am hooked, this one I have not made yet. I do make my own almond milk (when I can find a raw almonds, roasted don’t taste the same), sunflower butter, rice milk, walnut spread. I am waiting for my kefir grains to arrive to start making kefir, love this drink! With kefir life is different: happy and sunny (inside)!

  31. I don’t care for Horchata, but my friend loves it. I should ask her to bring in some white rice tomorrow and I’ll bring in the rest of the ingredients, than we can make it at work and have it the next day! She would love that and it would be a great Friday treat!!

  32. I hadn’t even heard of horchata until now!

  33. I swear, it’s never a good idea to look at your blog when I’m hungry. Haha, it always feels like a tease! ;)
    I’ve never heard about horchata, but I HAVE to make it and try it out now that you’ve mentioned it! :)

  34. I’ve always steered clear of horchata, because I’ve only seen it kind of chunky from the rice. I’m a texture person, so I thought I wouldn’t like it, but I think I need to try your version if it is smooth!

  35. Remember how you said we could switch kitchens cause we are on the same wavelength so often? Well, this morning, my oldest said “We should make our own Horchata. I’m sure it would be healthier and less expensive.” I kid you not. SO…..I bought all the ingredients after I was done tripping out about your post! Recipe on the agenda for tomorrow! :-)

    • Ok keep me posted and that’s beyond trippy!

      My daughter told me yesterday she wanted dinner to be grilled. I said honey we don’t have a grill. She said, but people in Mexico do. I said yes, they probably do. She said, well we should go to Mexico then! lol

  36. Can I just start by telling you how amazing you are? I had no idea that you could make horchata at home. I’ve always thought that I needed some super secret ingredients or something but that’s not the case at all! I don’t even like horchata but I am stoked to make this because Jason (the boyfriend) is obsessed with horchata. He’s going to be thrilled when he comes home to homemade horchata! And best of all, I just got a new blender and a box of Mason jars.

    I really think it’s fate that I came across this recipe today :)

  37. I want to make this so bad, but first I have a dumb question. Is the rice cooked or raw? I’ve made nut milks before, but they don’t have rice. Think I have all the ingredients on hand, but don’t know about the rice. I’ve never heard of this drink at all, but it sound delicious. Love all your recipes and the pictures are spectacular. Always makes me hungry!

  38. I apparently am the only person in healthy-blogger-land who’s not tried this. I need to try it! Thanks for sharing an easy recipe.

  39. LOVE this – my favorite recipe of yours so far – would love to run into you at one of our local Farmers Markets. Which is your favorite?

    • Usually H.C. but sometimes M.H.’s

      Haven’t been in ages though…been too chilly and bad timing. But spring/summer is right around the corner! Once we get past the dreary weather today.

  40. My kids love horchata. I call it liquid crack ;). Great post!

  41. I love horchata!!! Thank you for sharing!

  42. Hi, I found your blog through foodgawker. I have never heard of horchata before. I make almond milk myself and it is bit tedious as I have to strain each time. But yours is a very easy recipe. It will be a keeper for me. Thanks a lot for sharing. Navi.

  43. I LOVE horchata! We grew up with it and I crave it every summer. We make ours with rice and it could be quite the process. I just might have to try your variation when I don’t want to grind up rice and strain ;)

    Your photos are beautiful and that farmers market looks amazing!

  44. For some reason i thought horchata was made with cooked rice. anywho it looks delish! I need to invest in a nut milk bag because my non-dairy milk consumption is getting out of hand (and quite expensive!)

  45. I’ve never had horchata but I’m really intrigued after reading your post! I think I need a better blender before I tackle it. And wow, is your farmer’s market ever awesome, I’m jealous :)

  46. I’ve never had horchata before. It looks delish! And those are some awesome looking pineapple! Wow!

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  48. Thank you for posting the horchata recipe! I made it yesterday with almonds and we LOVE it! It’s perfect for me since I dislike a full breakfast meal and the almonds are quite filling. So excited to find this, thanks again!

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  50. I need a Vitamix! My family would drink gallons of this!

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